Winged invasion still plagues Seagull Street

A flock of gulls arrives each morning to perch in Magpie Close, dubbed Seagull Street.
A flock of gulls arrives each morning to perch in Magpie Close, dubbed Seagull Street.

DESPERATE residents of a street besieged by thousands of seagulls say the situation is growing drastically worse.

The Observer first reported the winged invasion last year, when birds began using rooftops in Magpie Close, dubbed Seagull Street, to keep an eye on waste deliveries at the nearby Pebsham landfill site.

Biffa, the firm which runs the site, tried to tackle the problem by building a wall of earth between the waste and the houses.

But disgruntled resident Chris Stace, 66, says the measures are having no effect, and numbers are spiralling with each passing breeding season.

“I have lived in that street for more than 15 years, but in the last two years this has become unbelievable,” she said.

“We can’t sit outside because of the noise, The seagulls damage our paintwork, bring down house prices, and break TV aerials.”

Biffa uses a falcon to scare gulls away, and has tried pyrotechnics in the past, but the feathered army continues to dominate the close.

Veteran gull campaigner Lyn Markwick, 66, said: “We are so angry this is still a problem. It’s getting worse and worse. A huge cloud of them arrive each morning, they look like snow. We need help.”

Biffa spokesman Andy Coleman insisted the firm was still working with the Environment Agency to solve the problem, and thanked residents for their patience.

“During operational hours we use falcons to keep seagulls away,” he said. “Unfortunately, during these hours seagulls tend to gather some way from the landfill site on nearby houses causing a nuisance to residents.”

Kathryn Langley, spokesman for the county council, said: “Biffa is reviewing the site regularly and we know it has put in place several measures to ensure gulls are kept to a minimum, but we understand it is working hard to see if there is anything else it could do.

“We will continue to visit the site regularly and encourage both Biffa and the Environment Agency to put in place any other solutions that may be identified.”